I'm posting some of the NAFA presidents recent messages for those falconers who may not know what NAFA has been up to in the last year.

McNeff facebook post from April 6th, 2017:

Falconers: Join NAFA and support our board of Directors as we engage in the kind of “century planning” that will protect and perpetuate falconry in the face of a changing society that is less and less understanding of hunting pursuits (and wildlife and nature in general).

After 55 years of successfully advocating for falconry and falconers, and securing nearly every right and privilege that our community enjoys, NAFA leadership has determined that it is time to take two more great big steps along the path to preserving our art and culture for ourselves and for future generations.

First Step: We have begun the process of securing the protection of an official designation of falconry as “an intangible cultural heritage of mankind” under the UNESCO document that was initially introduced in the fall of 2010. Such an inscription would forever protect us from the assaults of anti-hunting organizations such as the Humane Society of the United States. We will need your support in this. Germany just joined the list of 19 nations that have achieved this goal, and PETA fought them hard throughout the process. We will have to endure similar opposition, and need strength in numbers. Our membership is on a significant upswing. Let’s keep that momentum rolling along.

Second Step: We are taking on the task of legally incorporating a 501(c)(4) organization that will serve us as an advocacy and defense entity for our community. As a Membership (c7) organization, NAFA is significantly restricted in our political ability and reach. With the support of the Falconry Fund, which is a c3, and the upcoming c4, falconers in North America will officially have the ability and clout to lobby and advocate for the rights that we desire, and to litigate against naysayers. Lawyers and lobbyists are widely disliked, but this is the world that we are living in. We may be practitioners of one of the oldest field sports in the world, but we are not ignorant to what is going on around us. It’s time to get serious and play hard ball. We can’t just keep hoping that we miraculously survive the inevitable focus of anti-hunting organizations. Let’s be proactive.

Do you genuinely want to protect and perpetuate falconry? Put your money where your mouth is. Join NAFA (www.n-a-f-a.com), make a tax deductible contribution to the Falconry Fund (www.falconryfund.org), and be ready to donate to the c4 when it is officially operational.

Falconry is steeped in history and tradition and has created some of the world’s most effective conservationists and environmentalists over thousands of years. Let’s hold strong to that part of our history as a culture! We are proud of our legacy. Let’s come together and protect it.

Excerpt from McNeff’s Presiden’t Message to the membership on December 1st, 2016;

To expand on that “authority, experience, and influence” statement above, I’m excited to tell you about a vote that was cast by your board of Directors during our business meeting in Elk City. A decision was made to pursue the establishment of a 501(c)(4) falconry organization. As you know, the NAFA board spent the last two years establishing and incorporating a 501(c)(3) organization called the Falconry Fund which is a tax exempt fund raising organization to distribute money for falconry related causes. The board of Directors is now moving on to the work of setting up a c4 organization which will differ from the c3 significantly. In simple terms, the existing c3 will largely underwrite falconry conservation and education efforts on a continental scale. The eventual c4 will finance the advocacy, lobbying, and defense initiatives that falconers are concerned with and will eventually be challenged by.

As a falconry community, we will have three organizations serving us, which should offer the complete array of funding, support, legal advocacy, defense, and communal organization that will solidify our foundation and give us more clout than we have ever had at any time in our history.

This is the BIG PICTURE of what NAFA’s efforts have been dedicated to for some time. As a c7 Membership Organization, we are not legally permitted to do much in the way of advocacy and defense. Looking back over our history, it’s remarkable to note that nearly every step of forward progress gained by falconers toward protecting and perpetuating our art from a regulatory standpoint and otherwise, was achieved by our volunteers, Directors, Officers, and Committee Chairpersons. Every falconer on this continent has NAFA to thank for the rights and privileges that we enjoy while pursuing our craft. However, as the legal and sociopolitical climate changed around us over time, we’ve come to realize that these other entities were needed, and didn’t exist. This is very big picture “century planning” to assure our interests and our legal right to exist.

The Legal Defense Fund in our financial holdings is not adequate to effectively protect us from the kinds of attacks that are possible in today’s environment. The fact that we have been without legal access to wild-taken golden eagles for use in falconry for so long is proof of that. We are about to rectify that situation, and I’m incredibly proud to be a part of the leadership team that is taking this on. I will be one of the first falconers to financially contribute to the c3 and c4 organizations and I hope that everyone reading this message will join me.

Excerpt from McNeff’s President’s Message on February 1st, 2017;

Some of you may recall that about a year ago NAFA established a standing committee to work on achieving this goal for all three North American countries. Kristine Marshall, in Victoria, BC is the Chairperson of what is now the largest committee we’ve ever organized. I’ve enjoyed following along and participating in these early days of establishing the committee, identifying members to contribute, and outlining a timeline and list of goals to be addressed in order to see Mexico, Canada, and the United States achieve the protection of an official ICH label. Kristine and her husband Allan and the committee members they’ve gathered around them are really building up a head of steam and starting to make significant progress on this long-term goal.

I want to be very clear in stating that if we are able to achieve this goal, it will be the biggest political “win” that falconry in North America has ever seen. (next to the initial legalization, which was largely won by the efforts of NAFA’s Technical Advisory Committee and organized members on the ground in their respective states and provinces)

To illustrate the importance of achieving the goal, allow me to paraphrase Gary Timbrell and Adrian Lombard of the IAF when they announced the addition of those 5 most recent countries; The importance of being on the ICH list cannot be overemphasized: governments that list falconry are obliged to preserve it, which includes putting aside funding for that purpose. This is worth repeating in another way: not only are those governments not allowed to attack falconry, they have to ensure it is not damaged by other entities. This means the falconers are not alone in defending falconry, their governments must help them.